Possible change to curriculum for Indiana schools - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Possible change to curriculum for Indiana schools

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There could soon be changes to the education standards for Indiana students.

Currently, Indiana schools follow the "Common Core" national education standards. It is a curriculum that focuses on students applying the material that is taught to avoid students simply memorizing facts. The curriculum was first implanted in Indiana in 2010, and there are 45 other states that use Common Core.   

"We were heading in the direction of making the adjustments in our curriculum, our texts and our software for technology to match that curriculum," said South Bend Superintendent Carole Schmidt. 

The measure that might move schools away from Common Core is Senate Bill 91. After passing through the Senate, it was passed by the House Education Committee on Thursday. The bill proposes that the state of Indiana be able to create its own educational standards for the students to meet. State Representative of District 5 Dale DeVon says a national solution may not be best. "This is more local," he said. "It's more about getting kids more career ready and college ready as well."

The Indiana State Department has created a draft of the proposed curriculum if Common Core should be removed. Their proposed curriculum concentrates on English/language arts and mathematics. If a new curriculum should be implanted, Indiana Superintendents are willing to make the change. 

"As long as we know what the standards are so we can continue to focus on excellence, we'll make sure we exceed those expectations," said Penn-Harris-Madison Superintendent Jerry Thacker.  

"I really do think we'll just continue to move forward with high standards for kids with assessments that have application process about the material," said Schmidt. 

A bipartisan panel was created to study the impact of Common Core but no consensus could be reached. Whether Common Core or an Indiana proposed curriculum is used, everyone involved wants to better the students of the state.  

We want to make sure that we're competitive and that we have our students ready for college and careers so they can be very, very competitive in this global competition, " Thacker said

"The legislature is just trying to ready all of our kids for a career or college education to make Indiana a better place for education," DeVon said. 

There will be a public hearing at Plymouth High School on February 26 from 3:00-7:00pm where people can share their comments and thoughts about the proposal from the Indiana Department of Education.

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